The Week: Best of the blogs - Think beyond advertising

A couple of years back, I noticed a lot of stories in the paper about a split in the Church of England. The PR guy who worked on it told me the C of E had come to him with a brief to get their profile up. And they had no money.

But if we have no money, we have no media. But we do have a lot of churches, 13,000 in fact. And at least half of those churches have bulletin boards in front. And each bulletin board is a potential poster site. And a national campaign of 6,000 posters is a big campaign.

And so they briefed a campaign of posters that would fit this media. He sent copies of it to all the bishops and asked them what they thought of it. Naturally, some liked it and some didn't. He then called up papers and told them there was a split in the C of E over whether they should be advertising or not.

The C of E got massive national coverage. They got millions of pounds of media for the cost of a few small posters. That's real creativity.

Which is why Alex Bogusky says that, often when Crispin Porter & Bogusky get a brief, they start by thinking: "If we had a PR campaign running after the ads broke, what would that look like?"

Which is how they came up with their Burger King campaign. They thought "What would you be prepared to sacrifice for a Whopper?" would make an interesting story. And, of course, they got many times the media they were paying for. Which is what advertising should be doing. Even if it isn't always advertising.


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